April is Alcohol Awareness Month, but alcoholism is a year-round reality for 15.1 million American adults. Another 623,000 people – adolescents – are estimated to struggle with an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the country but, amidst this large-scale opioid epidemic, awareness of the disease has taken a bit of a back seat.
But it shouldn’t. Alcohol dependence, misuse and addiction account for an estimate 88,0009 deaths yearly. That makes alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
Alcohol is legal and readily available, which makes becoming dependent on the substance and hiding an addiction simpler than with other substances. It also makes it harder to identify the warning signs of abuse in loved ones and even yourself.
Some things to monitor for yourself and others include:
- Alcohol consumption interfering with work, school, relationships or other commitments
- Memory loss or blackouts
- Drinking regardless of later responsibilities such as driving
- Inability to control how much or how often alcohol is consumed
Alcohol abuse can be quickly identified and treated before a full-blown addiction has developed. Wondering if you drink too much? Take this free screening from Screening for Mental Health.
If you or someone you love needs help with an alcohol use disorder, get in touch today. Our clinicians are on-hand to help 24/7. Call us at: (844) 233-6372.